Empty Oceans

As soon as I saw Andrew’s post about Dave Matthews, another DMB song came to mind for me. There is one line in the song, Dive In, that always made me think:

“Tell me everything will be ok if, I just stay on my knees and keep praying,
believing in something.
Tell me everything is all taken care of by those qualified to take care of it all”

The last piece of that verse always stuck out to me but really thinking about the whole stanza it seems to mean he could be criticizing people for mistaking faith with solution. Faith is extremely important but if no action is taken, solutions rarely appear out of nowhere. Believing alone will not accomplish many things.

This line leads perfectly into the next verse,

“I have been thinking that lately the blood is increasing
the tourniquets not keeping hold in spite of our twisting
though we would like to believe we are
we are not in control
though we would love to believe ”

Without acting and taking initiative, problems can get out control. This line can apply to so many issues that get so out of control, to the point that solutions do not hold.

This thought made me go back to the stockholder/stakeholder argument. When decisions are made for the short term, little errors can build up without any action taken. Strictly believing in short term profits with no action taken to fix long term errors will only yield disaster and like he says, “we are not in control.” A good example is the Deepwater Horizon spill. It literally could not be contained, a good visual, I thought, with the verse.

While the song made me think of this after reading the lyrics and thinking back to our class, I think the song overall has a bit of a deeper, broader meaning. I think it is Dave’s way of telling us that we need to step up and do something. The chorus,

“Wake up sleepy head
I think the suns a little brighter today
Smile and watch the icicles melt away and see the waters rising
Summers here to stay, and that sweet summer breeze will blow forever
Go down to the shore, kick off your shoes, dive in the empty ocean, ”

is so bubbly and happy, yet starts with “Wake up.” I think the contrast with the sad, scary verses means that a lot of people are living in denial. While so much is falling apart around us, many take no action. One verse says,

“One day, do you think we’ll wake up in a world on it’s way to getting better?
and if so can you tell me how”

Obviously, he feels that we need to fix the world and too many of us are just sitting back thinking the world will get better on its own. We are living in a fantasy world where “summer’s here to stay.” But what I think we need to really think about is if, “the water’s rising,” then why are we diving into an empty ocean?



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